Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week
Just months after exit lanes at the new parkade at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops were reduced from two to one, how parking is paid for is changing because of complaints it can take too long to leave the facility on Columbia Street.
Andrew Pattison, the Interior Health Authority’s director of protection and parking services, said the authority is returning to the system in place in the old parkade behind the hospital — people must estimate how long they will be there and pay upfront accordingly.
It will take effect on Dec. 12.
Pattison said the original system was done “with the best of intentions,” but noted since the parkade opened on July 25, “it was clear this is not the best for IHA.”
The parkade opened four months ago with two exit lanes to better stream traffic from the structure. But the two lanes were too tight, making it difficult for larger vehicles to get out. Two tight lanes become one wider lane.
Pattison said feedback from the public has confirmed the need for the change, as complaints were being received about how long it is taking drivers to leave the parkade, often “more than a minute.”
Pattison said there were also some extreme situations in which the wait to get out was 30 minutes.
He said the decision is not based on revenue generated by parking fees.
Parking will no longer be paid based on stall numbers, but based on licence plates, as is done with City of Kamloops parking kiosks downtown.
An application for smartphones is being implemented that can be downloaded. It will send a prompt to alert drivers when the time for which they have paid is running out.
For those who can’t return to a payment machine because they are being seen by medical personnel, nurses, hospital social workers and security personnel can provide help, Pattison said.
A parking ambassador will be in the parkade for at least a month providing assistance to people unfamiliar with the payment system.